Turkish Press Review - Thursday, January 29, 2015

Turkish dailies on Thursday focused on Wednesday's hearing at the European Court of Human Rights on an Armenian 'genocide denial' case plus new labor reforms introduced by the Turkish PM

Turkish dailies on Thursday focused on Wednesday's hearing at the European Court of Human Rights on an Armenian 'genocide denial' case plus new labor reforms introduced by the Turkish PM

ISTANBUL - The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

Turkish dailies on Thursday focused on Wednesday's hearing at the European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, to decide whether a Turk who denied Armenian "genocide" allegations should have his conviction for racial discrimination overturned.

The case, referred last June to the ECHR, concerns Dogu Perincek, a Turkish national and chairman of the left-wing Turkish Workers’ Party. Perincek was found guilty of racial discrimination in Switzerland for describing the "Armenian genocide" as an "international lie."

"War of files" titled HURRIYET referring to the hearing. According to the daily, Perincek said "there were forced migrations and mutual slaughter," but claimed that the discussion of the events had become a taboo and the term "genocide" a way to insult Turks in Europe.

In the events that led to the present case, Perincek, at various conferences in Switzerland in 2005, rejected allegations that the events of 1915 and the following years in the Ottoman Empire amounted to "genocide" of the Armenian people.

The Switzerland-Armenia Association filed a criminal complaint against him. Perincek was tried by the Lausanne Police Court in March, 2007, found guilty of racial discrimination and fined.

Many Armenians argue that denying allegations that the events of 1915 constituted "genocide" should be a crime, just as negating the Holocaust is. In 2003, the National Council of Switzerland, the country's parliament, recognized the events of 1915 as "genocide."

Turkey officially refutes this description, saying that although Armenians died during relocations many Turks also lost their lives in attacks by Armenian gangs.

VATAN ran the headline "Debate on Talaat Pasha", reporting that Amal Alamuddin, a lawyer representing the Armenian government, said, according to a story published in 1915 in the New York Times, that Talaat Pasha had decided to expel Christians from Anatolia, the Asian part of what is now Turkey.

Talaat Pasha was a member of a triumvirate that governed the Ottoman Empire during World War II. He was assassinated in Berlin in 1921 by a survivor of the Armenian relocation.

However, Perincek called Talaat Pasha a “hero of liberty.”

He said at the hearing: "There are no court trials where Talaat Pasha was convicted. As a result of a probe by the British state, the case was closed as no evidence could be found about the Armenian issue."

No date was set for a ruling.

In other news, Turkish dailies also covered Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's announcement of new labor reforms targeted at reducing the informal economy as well as boosting employment.

"Great transformation in eight steps" said SABAH. The paper reported that Turkey's third Preferential Transformation Program aims to increase activity in the domestic labor market, increase the employment of women and cut joblessness.

YENI SAFAK ran with the headline: "Wedding chest for the young" referring to the new reform package which includes 15 percent support to those who will firstly buy a house.

According to Davutoglu, the package also encourages female employment.

"By 2018 we aim to boost women’s participation rate in the workforce by one point each year, to popularize flexible working and to increase the effectiveness of employment incentives,” he said.

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